Archives for posts with tag: Tomatoes

The tomato plants are all potted up for this year.

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I don’t have good conditions for starting out tomatoes and peppers here, so I buy from those who do. I like to get one of each of about 20 different kinds – there are so many colors, shapes and flavors.

I put each plant in a big pot with plenty of cow or chicken manure in the bottom, place them along a warm south facing wall and tie them to bamboo canes when they start growing. It is also necessary to water them every day and add more organic fertilizer often during the summer.

Tomatoes are, of course, a best seller at the farmers market.

The warmer nights with no frost didn’t last very long. Last night I was awakened at 0300 by a cold breeze coming through the ajar window. Sure enough it was freezing again, so I got up and spent the next hour covering crops and yesterdays cementing.

Surprisingly the tomatoes survived but only barely.

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Today I am picking all the rest of the tomatoes, pumpkins and maize so that I won’t have to do any more covering and uncovering, except for the daily cement work.

One thing that is good about the freeze is that it kills off the bugs and larvae on the kale and cabbages.

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Actually there are lots of good things about a freeze.

This morning we looked out upon more frost.

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Notice this stone buddha has frost on the top, but around the base the grass is frost free.

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Hopefully the tomatoes were well enough protected.

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Under the tarp is an unripe prize uchiki kuri.

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Predictions say the frost is over, and we’ll have warmer nights for the next 2 weeks.

The tomatoes I took in to ripen indoors, after the frost killed the plants, gradually reddened, got soft and tasty. We used them as they ripened, but they became too many all at once, so I decided that I would try making a salsa with the rest. And it turned out quite good.

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I don’t have a proper recipe for this, but here’s how I did it.

– clean and chop tomatoes (all kinds)
– slice onion and garlic
– sauté in cast iron pot
– put tomatoes into pot
– add salt
– add herbs
– add spices
– simmer a few hours until it thickens
– let cool in stainless steel pan
– mash or mix into a fine purée
– put into containers to refrigerate
– or freeze if there is too much

The herbs I used here are thyme, sage, oregano, rosemary and basil from the garden but dried for winter use. I also put in some imported spices like ground cumin, curry powder, chili pepper (our own) and black pepper. I just throw the herbs and spices in without measuring according to experience and taste.

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After the last few weeks of occasional lite frost at night the tomatoes are looking quite dead.

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I have been covering them with tarps on cold nights, but with heavy frost on it’s way and possibly snow, it’s time to pick all the remaining green tomatoes along with the peppers and eggplants.

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These can ripen in a corner of the kitchen or in the cellar. They hold very well and ripen slowly. Some years we have had tasty tomatoes as late as a bit into december.